how-to home |
email me


Changing the headlight bulb

what you'll need:
Time needed: About 20 minutes
  • New headlight bulb
    • I bought a Sylvania 9003/HB2 (also fits H4) bulb from Kragen Auto Parts for $10.
    • NOTE: The F650GS takes a 60/55 watt bulb. Anything higher wattage has been known to melt the plastic housing.
  • T25 torx screwdriver
  • #2 Philips screwdriver

In my Beemer's eternal quest to make me replace every single part on it, the low beam headlight went out on my ride home from work the other night.

While you can remove the bulb without taking off anything else, I'm a big proponent of making my life easier. If you remove the windsheild and loosen up the cockpit, you wind up with fewer scraped knuckles and very easy access to the bulb.

If you, too, want to make your life easier, remove the following bits:

  • Windshield
  • The four T25 hex screws (per side) that hold on the turn signals
  • The T25 hex screw (per side) that holds the fairing on down by the front fender
  • Loosen the two soft plastic Philips screws at the top of the cockpit, near the windshield mounts.

Once the above is loosened and/or removed, you can gently pull the headlight cockpit forward away from the bike, like so:

When you look at the back of the headlight, you'll see a big plug coming out of a rubber boot:

Give that plug a nice hard yank and it'll disconnect. There's no trick to it; nothing to squeeze or anything to get the plug out. It's held in strictly by friction, but it does require a little bit of force.

Next, just pull back the rubber boot:

Grab the bulb housing (the black plastic ring); twist it and remove it. The bulb will come out along with the plastic housing; be careful not to drop it (not that it really matters to you if it breaks since, presumably, it's burned out anyway).

The Beemer looks a little creepy with no face, doesn't it? Very Halloweeny.

ANYWAY. Insert the new bulb into the back of the headlight -- remember not to touch the glass! Line up the metal tabs on the new bulb with the recesses in the bulb housing to ensure that the bulb sits flush against the housing.

Insert the black plastic bulb housing ring and twist it to lock the bulb in place.

Now it's just a matter of reinstalling everything that you removed. There really aren't any tricks or gotchas, though I would recommend turning on the bike and making sure the new bulb works prior to tightening everything back up.